App List removed from sale...for now.

Unfortunately I had to remove App List from sale today. This means that the app will remain working and downloadable for existing users, but it is no longer listed on the App Store and it will not receive updates in the foreseeable future. It was not an easy decision for me, but in the end I had no choice. There are a couple of reasons why:

  • I simply cannot keep up with the changing App Store. App List only partly relied on the iTunes Search API. For extended information I had to parse the App Store manually. This was tedious, error prone and - obviously - frowned upon by Apple.

  • Apple recently changed the iTunes Search API and reduced the maximum amount of Ids to an arbitrary number (it seems dynamic, but it is much lower than it used to be), forcing me to rewrite large parts of the API functions.

  • I receive a massive amount of support email for this app. It was quite popular, and people used in the very odd ways (my favorite one was the guy who had 5000 apps on his iPad and used App List to keep track of them all). I am not a company, I am a sole developer who wrote App List in his free time. I had to declare support email bankruptcy a while ago.1

  • There are crashes in iOS 15 which I would have to fix quickly. I currently have no time to work on this app though.

  • Sync is wonky at best and would require a complete re-write of the syncing engine. People also still had issues with price change notifications not showing up. This also requires attention.

As I wrote before, App List was just a hobby project on the side. I did not anticipate its popularity. Since its inception, App List had more than half a million regular users, and many more downloads.

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed App List and gave me a tip. Maybe I will be able to continue working on it later in the year.

  1. On a side note, many people really need to work on their manners. The amount of entitlement seeping from those emails is staggering. It was a free app, yet some people acted as if they payed inordinate amounts of money for it, or as if I was their personal developer implementing features just for them. At some point I really had to stop reading those support emails because it was seriously affecting my mood.